Dean Elgar’s 88* beats James Vince’s 86* as Spartans get first points

South Africa

Tshwane Spartans 188 for 2 (Elgar 88*) beat Paarl Rocks 185 for 6 (Vince 86*, Morkel 2-24) by eight wickets

Tshwane Spartans got their first win of this Mzansi Super League (MSL) with only the second successful chase of the tournament so far. After the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars eased to victory chasing 109 against the Jozi Stars on Saturday, the Spartans made bigger tasks look easy and hunted down a target of 186, with five balls to spare. Their win has taken up to third place on the points table and pushed Paarl Rocks into fourth.

It’s blowing in the wind

While the east coast of the country has been hit by heavy rain, the west has seen strong winds with gusts of up to 50kph over this weekend and it had an effect on the fielders. Six catches were dropped in total, four by the visiting team and two which gave top-scorer James Vince a lifeline.

Henry Davids was on 14 when he was put down at deep square leg, and he went on to score 30. Vince did much more damage. He was first put down on 5 when he miscued a shot off Lungi Ngidi to AB de Villiers at long-off. De Villiers had the ball in his hands but was back-pedaling and heading over the rope so he tossed the ball up, but not high enough that he could get back on the field and complete the catch.

Three overs later, Vince offered a much simpler chance to by Donovan Ferreira at deep midwicket off Roelof van der Merwe but the ball slipped through the hands. Morne Morkel then dropped a return catch off Dwaine Pretorius when the batsman was on 7. He only added two more to his total.

The hosts did not escape the wind either. Isuru Udana had two chances put down – Theunis de Bruyn on 31, who was dropped by Bjorn Fortuin at long-on and de Villiers, on 8, put down by Pretorius at backward square leg. While de Bruyn went on to make 42, de Villiers only scored 19.

Faf v Morne

Watching former team-mates take each other on is part of the fun of T20 franchise cricket and though today was billed as being about Faf du Plessis v de Villiers, it was actually du Plessis v Morne Morkel. The former Titans and South African team-mates were on opposite sides in Paarl and Morkel claimed major bragging rights. He had du Plessis caught at midwicket for a third-ball duck to put the Rocks in early trouble at 45 for 2.

Highest opening partnership of the competition

Who said Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn are red-ball cricketers only? Not us! The Test duo put on the highest opening partnership of the competition so far – 104 runs in 12.2 overs which featured a dynamic array of strokes. De Bruyn cut and pulled well while Elgar was enterprising and aggressive, hitting down the ground and timing and placing the ball well, especially in the air. Elgar was the match’s top-scorer with 88 off 60 balls, including seven fours and two sixes.

Captain Klaasen

The most-scrutinised leadership skills in this competition are Temba Bavuma’s and Quinton de Kock’s as the succession race for the South African national team hots up, but Heinrich Klaasen showed why he also has something to offer as he led from the front to take his side to victory. Klaasen’s cameo of 31 runs off 13 balls featured a reverse-sweep, a straight drive over Tabraiz Shamsi and back-to-back sixes at the end of the 19th over to ensure the Spartans only needed two runs to win off the last six balls.

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